Pitt Rivers Museum
One of the world’s finest collections of anthropology and archaeology
Reference | ETTAPR01
Distance to Oxford City Centre | 0.25 miles
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The Pitt Rivers Museum holds one of the world’s finest collections of anthropology and archaeology, with objects revealing humankind’s extraordinary problem-solving and craft skills from every continent and throughout human history.
Tucked behind Oxford’s Museum of Natural History, and dimly lit to protect its plethora of treasures, the Museum is centred on an anthropological collection donated by Augustus Pitt-Rivers in 1884. He organised his objects under the influence of Charles Darwin by type, and within type, chronologically: musical instruments, weapons, masks, textiles, jewellery, and tools are all displayed to show how the same problems have been solved at different times by different peoples. This chronological organisation demonstrated the evolution of human artefacts over time, a strategy we see in many contemporary museums today.
Since its founding, the museum has acquired more than 300,000 objects, donated from scholars, anthropologists and travelers. Due to its large collection, the display cases are packed and exhibitions change with great frequency. Today the Museum is an active teaching department of the University of Oxford. It also continues to collect through donations, bequests, special purchases and through its students, in the course of their fieldwork.
The Pitt Rivers Museum is a museum within a museum, attached to the back of the larger Oxford University Museum of Natural History.
Entry is via the Museum of Natural History.
What’s On at Pitt Rivers Museum
There is a busy programme of exhibitions, special events, talks, tours and also the opportunity to get involved with a schedule of Need, Make and Use workshops. Visit the What’s On pages at Pitt Rivers here
- An anthropological collection originally donated by Augustus Pitt-Rivers which has expanded to over 300,000 artefacts, and into one of the world’s finest collections of anthropology and archaeology
- See musical instruments, weapons, masks, textiles, jewellery, tools and more from different times by different peoples.
- Entry via the Oxford University Museum of Natural History
Note: As the postcode is used to identify the general area of the property, it may not always reflect its precise location, therefore please only use this map as a guide.
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